Los Angeles Times – At least eight big providers of mortgage customer service have failed to properly track and resolve serious complaints about servicing fraud.
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Freddie Mac is now offering a free, online CreditSmart® tutorial to provide working families and new or inexperienced borrowers with basic sound information about building savings, personal credit, and making wise financial choices. CreditSmart® is a comprehensive, multilingual financial education curriculum that has reached more than 3 million consumers in 44 states through lenders, churches, schools, and non-profit organizations.
For future borrowers, the tutorial includes individual modules on banking, budgeting household income, building personal savings and credit, understanding credit scores, avoiding credit traps, getting a mortgage, and closing a loan.
For current homeowners, the tutorial includes modules tailored to help them avoid foreclosure, maintain their home and succeed as long-term homeowners.
To access the new CreditSmart online tutorial visit www.freddiemac.com/creditsmart/consumer_training.html
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed more than 540,000 foreclosure prevention actions during 2012, bringing the total foreclosure prevention actions to nearly 2.7 million since the start of conservatorship in 2008. These actions, which have helped more than 2.2 million borrowers stay in their homes, are detailed in the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s fourth quarter 2012 Foreclosure Prevention Report, also known as the Federal Property Manager’s Report.
The quarterly report has information on state delinquencies and an updated, interactive Borrower Assistance Map for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages, with information on delinquencies, foreclosure prevention activities and Real Estate Owned (REO) properties.
Also noted in the report:
San Diego Union Tribune – Real estate agents and home sellers have raised the question of whether Fannie Mae is overpricing homes throughout California due to a large number of deals that have fallen apart with the taxpayer-supported company because of price disputes.
Freddie Mac released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for February last week showing that while the housing sector is recovering, the level of housing activity is still near historic lows. And in many markets, especially those hardest hit, there is room for sustainable growth because of record high home-buyer affordability, a factor of relatively low house prices, mortgage rates and modestly rising income.
“Across the nation, most local housing markets have room for sustainable growth, particularly in home construction and sales,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “As the broader economy heals, expect to see more good news with house prices continuing their recent upward trend, and home sales and housing starts continuing to post strong growth rates. The macroeconomic recovery though 2011 helped to forestall further erosion in the depressed housing market. In return, housing is now ‘showing some love’ by contributing to economic growth, perhaps by adding close to 0.5 percentage points to 2013 GDP growth.”
Freddie’s outlook predicts that existing home sales will pick up as the house price recovery allows homeowners who have been forced on the sidelines by negative equity to get back into the market.
Freddie Mac recently announced it has partnered with various non-profit organizations in the Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles areas to open walk-in Borrower Help Centers where delinquent borrowers can get free and confidential holistic financial counseling designed to help them stay in their homes by pursuing mortgage workouts and avoiding foreclosure. Freddie Mac opened Borrower Help Centers in Chicago, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., and San Bernardino, Calif. in 2010.
Freddie Mac Borrower Help Centers offer mortgage counseling plus help with debt and credit issues that could affect the borrower’s ability to stay current on their mortgage after a modification.
To schedule a free appointment at one of the new walk-in Freddie Mac Borrower Help Centers, delinquent borrowers should contact them at:
Los Angeles Metro Area
Freddie Mac has released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for January showing that despite the fiscal uncertainties facing the country, consumer confidence has remained fairly resilient in recovering from its Great Recession lows, buoyed by improving labor and housing market news. Business owners and managers are more optimistic about the nation’s business outlook than consumers seem to be.
Highlights of the Outlook include:
San Diego Union Tribune – Housing activity began to turn around in 2012 and will continue to pick up in 2013, according to Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac.
In October, more than 81,000 homeowners refinanced their mortgage through the Home Affordable Refinance Program, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) October Refinance Report. Since HARP began in 2009, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have refinanced more than 1.8 million loans through the program. According to the FHFA, the continued high volume of HARP refinances is attributed to record-low mortgage rates and program enhancements announced last year.
Also in the report:
Freddie Mac recently released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for December showing what some of the market features are expected to look like in 2013.
According to the outlook, long-term mortgage rates will remain near their record lows for the first half of 2013, then rise gradually during the second half of the year, but remain below 4 percent.
Property values are expected to continue to strengthen with most U.S. house price indexes likely rising by 2 to 3 percent in 2013.
Household formation should step up further to a net 1.20 to 1.25 million household increase in 2013 with housing starts up around the 1 million annualized pace by the fourth quarter.
Vacancy rates for both apartments and the single-family for-sale market could bring aggregate vacancy rates down to 2002-2003 levels as household formation outpaces new construction.
While the refinance boom will continue into early 2013, it will be less compared with 2012, so single-family mortgage originations are likely to decline by 15 percent conversely, expect multifamily lending to rise approximately 5 percent.